a4 nsc 311 les 04 greco persian wars

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Evolution of Warfare: 

Evolution of Warfare #4 Greco-Persian Wars (600-479 B.C.) Major Turk


Objectives Know, identify, and discuss Greco-Persian conflicts, with emphasis on Marathon, Thermopyale, and Salamis

Map of the Area: 

Map of the Area


Greeks “The heavily armored hoplite, with crested helmet and massive shield was for the Greeks, the highest embodiment of military attainment, sanctioned by the triumphs of the past and the hero-image of an Achilles. It was an honor to serve in the phalanx; most desirable was in the front rank: and military service was a privilege as well as the duty of every free citizen. Only the aristocrats and the middle class fought as hoplites. MEN IN ARMS


Persia Reflected the social and political organization of the empire Core were Persians Best Infantry – Immortals of the Persian Royal guard or the Medes and Elamites who were regular professional troops Bow was basic weapon. They also carried daggers and short spears

Persia - Tactics: 

Persia - Tactics Launch arrows from distance from behind wicker shields planted in the ground. Very little protective equipment Calvary – land owning aristocracy Medes, Elamites, Bactrains and Sakai Bow with little armor Fix the enemy so the infantry could destroy

Greco - Persian Conflicts: 

Greco - Persian Conflicts Persian Major Problem: Land power lines of communication thousand of miles long harassment by land and sea Greek Major Problems: 1. City states Complex Economics dependent on overwater trade Unity of Command (10 Generals)

Greco - Persian Conflicts (cont): 

Greco - Persian Conflicts (cont) 2. Defense Depended on Trireme Fleet Expensive in treasure Required highly trained crews

Wars Causes: 

Wars Causes 550 B.C. - Lydia Annexed Coastal States 512 B.C. - Greeks Urged Revolt of Ionia 510 B.C. - Ionian revolt Squashed by Darius 499 B.CC. Athens Supports Another Ionian Revolt 494 B.C. - Revolt Collapses 493 B.C. - Darius Prepares to Conquer Greece

Map of the Area: 

Map of the Area

Marathon Background: 

Marathon Background Darius’ Plan (backed by Hippias) Attempt to prevent the Greek states from further helping their sister communities of the islands and eastern coastline of the Aegean Sea. 1. Subdue Eritrea for psychological reasons 2. Land at Marathon to draw out the army from Athens and then attack Athens. Attack by sea at two locations (Marathon and Phalerum) Lacked the logistics needed to bring their entire force to bear on the Greeks. Subdue Eretria

Greek Situation: 

Greek Situation 1. Lack of unified command (City States) 2. Plan to defend at Athens 3. Plan to attack at Marathon 4. Miltades: Ruler of Athens but not backed by the Alcemaeonidae who wanted to reinstate Hippias

The Battle (490 B.C.): 

The Battle (490 B.C.) Persians attacked Eretria (Pheilippides to Sparta 150 miles in 48 hours) Carneian Festival (10 more days) Persians crossed Euboean Channel to Marathon Greeks (Athenian Army/Plataeans) controlled the high ground (Sat for 8 days) Miltiades determined no Persian overland attack Eretria fell requiring action and Athenian army Attacked (Miltiades developed the plan) Athenian center thinned (4 and 8) to make flanks stronger

The Battle (490 B.C.): 

The Battle (490 B.C.) Bulk of Persian Army were archers Hoplites could easily break the Persians front if they could get to it rapidly Athenians advanced and ran through the beaten zone.

The Battle 490 B.C. (cont.): 

The Battle 490 B.C. (cont.) Miltiades attacked Lighter Persian wings crushed by hoplites Athenian center fell back Double envelopment ensued Persian were routed Athenians returned to Athens defense Casualties: Persians - 6400, Greeks – 192 First time Greeks beat the Persians on land

Xerxes (son of Darius) Invasion: 

Xerxes (son of Darius) Invasion Called for Earth and Water from Greek States (Except Sparta and Athens) 200,000 man force Spartans urged abandonment of Northern Greece (Isthmus of Cornith) Athenians refused Themistocles strategy adopted (Control the land and make the Persian Navy Fight) 335 ships sent to NW coast of Artemisium (Euboea) 8000 hoplites sent to Thermopylae

Thermopylae 480 B.C.: 

Thermopylae 480 B.C. King Leonidas controlled the pass 1000 hoplites covered the one track around in the forest Xerxes camped for 4 days on the Milian plain Psychological and waiting for fleet On day 5 and 6 Xerxes attacked Greek traitor told Xerxes of a pass in the forest Xerxes sent his “immortals” to the pass Surrounded, many Greeks surrendered Spartans fought to the death

After the Battle: 

After the Battle Defense was with the fleet now Stockaded and garrisoned the Acropolis, evacuated Athens and Attica and sent families to Aegina, Salamis and Troezen. Xerxes attacked and captured Athens Themistocles still had the fleet and they withdrew to Salamis. Had to draw in the Persian Fleet near Salamis.

Salamis 480 B.C.: 

Salamis 480 B.C. Burden of defense now rested with fleet Greek fleet withdrew to Salamis Thermistocles won approval not to fight on open seas Xerxes marched on Athens Faint message to Xerxes that the Athenian fleet was weak and if he attacked now, they would not be albe to offer much resistance Persian moved onto the Channel 7 hr battle on equal terms

Salamis 480 B.C.: 

Salamis 480 B.C. Athenian fleet fought “fleet” on one ship at a time Without his now defeated fleet, Xerxes could not support his land forces and they were then defeated at Plataea in 479. Greece was not invaded from Asia until the 15th Century A.D. World’s first decisive naval engagement

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